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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Brunch: French Country Omelet

One of my favorite parts about Sunday mornings is making brunch together just before noon and then crawling back into bed with the shades drawn to watch a movie and eat our breakfast together in bed. We aren’t lucky enough to do be able to do this EVERY Sunday, but more often than not we manage to fit it into our busy schedules. This has been a wonderful tradition of ours for probably over a year now. I know it won’t last forever, especially once we have children to turn our schedules upside down and inside out, but until that time comes I continue to relish this little piece of time spent together and hope that it will be a simple (but perfect) little something we can come back to frequently over the upcoming years.

While some Sundays we go all out with an array of mid-morning munchies, there is something to be said for creating a simple, yet hardy dish that satisfies even the largest appetite. This is one of those meals. The following omelet is a wonderful creation I first stumbled upon in Ina Garten’s book, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, which was given to me as a Christmas gift last year by my boss. It is based on a French dish served for lunch at the CafĂ© Varenne in Paris. We love it because it can be made in one pan and it combines meat, potatoes and eggs into one perfect omelet. Plus, it works great for either breakfast or lunch (or brunch). We often serve it with a big fruit salad, or a creamy fruit smoothie for a fulfilling and well-rounded meal.
Country French Omelet
Original recipe from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten
(Serves 2-4, depending on appetite – either serve 1/2 omelet or 1/4 omelet as desired)

2 tbsp olive oil
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
5 large brown eggs
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded*
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil*
*Not in the original recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof omelet pan or skillet (e.g., cast-iron skillet ) over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat until browned on both sides. Take the bacon out of the skillet and set aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Place the potatoes in the pan and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until very tender and browned evenly. Toss the potatoes occasionally to cook evenly. Remove the potatoes to the same plate as the bacon. Discard the fat from the skillet and melt the butter in the bottom of the pan while adjusting the heat to low. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, milk and basil together with a fork in a medium bowl. Add the egg mixture to the hot skillet. Sprinkle the bacon, potatoes, chives and mozzarella evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Slide onto a plate and divide in half (or quarters) and serve hot. We like to serve this with a big bowl of fresh fruit salad for a well-rounded breakfast meal.

Per serving (based on 4 servings):
315 calories and 18 grams protein


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